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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 29, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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as gifts. barack obama received his first dog, bo, from 10 kennedy while in office and "the washington post" reports a florida philanthropist offered president trump a golden doodle puppy named patton. i will see you next week. hello, everyone. thank you very much for joining me. we have begin this hour in washington where grand jury indictments are overshadowing the week ahead for president trump. an arrest or arrests could come as early as tomorrow following the fircht charst charges in th investigation led by robber mueller. president is blasting the new developments tweeting all of this russia talk, right wing republicans are making a push for historic tax cuts and reform. is it coincidental?
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not! >> former u.s. attorney warned what to watch for as this all unfolds. >> one, whether donald trump has reaction and talks in a way that could be used against him in the future. is he sending a message of intimidation through himself or cohorts suggesting that people should not be talking and should keep their mouth shut? >> this comes as the gop races against the clock to meet the self-imposed deadline to unveil a bill on tax reform. >> we have got a short window of time to deliver on the tax reform. something that i want to see happen on behalf of the american people and to pass those bills, that's where our focus needs to stay. >> cnn is at the white house with more on what we heard from the president since the first charges were filed in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. the president has been on a tweet storm after yesterday's no
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comment from the white house. >> that's right, fred. no public events for the white house today, but the president was as he often is active on twitter, fired up over what he calls a lack of investigations into hillary clinton, specifically citing several examples. he mentioned the now infamous dossier that was produced by fusion gps that was hired by the clinton campaign to find opposition research into then candidate trump. he also mentions this russian uranium deal in which he accuses hillary clinton of taking bribes for a favorable uranium mining company deal in her tenure as secretary of state and mention her e-mails and the comey fix alluding to the fact that james comey declines to press charges against her over a private e-mail server. then he said this. he writes "instead they look at
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trump-russia collusion which does not exist." he goes on to tell republicans to do something about clinton and the democrats. part of the reason this is fat nating is it's unclear what he wants republicans to do after all earlier this week. house republicans announced two investigations related to hillary clinton, one of the circumstances surrounding that uranium deal and secondly over how the department of justice handled the investigation into her private e-mail server. while the country holds its breath braced for news from the russia probe, the president is not wasting time. he is attacking an opponent he defeated almost a year ago. fred? >> this is supposed to be a big week for the president focusing on tax reform, but it sounds as though the president also is trying to direct the narrative saying let's talk about anything but the russia investigation. >> this is a big week for the white house. as you mentioned this week will be crucial for tax reform that is supposed to be unveiled on
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november 1st. beyond that, the president is expected to announce his decision on the next fed chair, whether or not it will be the incumbent janet yellin or bring in someone like like jerome powell. on top of that he has a huge asia trip later on in the week. it will be an 11-day-trip to five countries. all the while, tensions with north korea are near all time highs. this will be a crucial week for the president on several fronts, several one that we can expect will produce some drama at some point. >> drama. not lower case drama, but always capital. >> all caps. >> thank you very much. i want to bring in our analyst. a congressional reporter for "the washington post." michael zeld in is a federal prosecutor and federal assistant to robert mueller and josh is a
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columnist for "the washington post." i want you all to listen to chris christie and what he had to say about any potential arrests. >> i think anybody advised by the special counsel's office that they are a target in the investigation which i'm sure he has done should be concerned. >> michael, you first. you, wooed with mueller. what do you think the possible arrest or arrests, plural, signal in the overall investigation? >> it depends really on who is arrested and on what charges. what will happen tomorrow is someone will be arrested and they will be presented before i magistrate judge. the judge will them of their rights and read them the charges against them. they will set a date in the future for a plea and then the case will go forward and the person pleads not guilty. if the charges are related to collusion itself, there is an
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allegation say against hypothetically because i have no facts to base it, so hypothetically against general flynn for some dealings with russia and failing to disclose them, that will send shock waves through the entire community of people involved in this case that mueller believes there may be something to the russia collusion experience investigation at this point. if it's collateral to the major investigation, something like paul manafort and or his business partner, richard gates for the matter in which they received money from the ukraine and if they fail to file taxes on it properly or they laundered the proceeds t may make people feel comforted that it's not collusion, but it lets mueller make it clear to everybody that there is no red line in the sand that the president said about unrelated financial crime.
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he believes that is related if that's the way he proceeds with it that way in this indictment. i think really governor christie is right. there is nobody in the orbit that should feel comforted by an indictment of anyone for any charges. >> there are a variety of charges and directions of these investigations. congressman gowdy echoed former governor christie's sentiments. take a listen. are what encouraged my republican friends, give the guy a chance to do his job. the result will be known by the facts. by what he uncovers. the personalities involved are much less important to me than the underlying facts. i would say give the guy a chance to do his job. >> wow. he is one of the few republicans championing mueller to be allowed to do his job and this sends a pretty strong message,
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does it not, to the republican leadership and the white house? >> he is one of the republicans speaking out about that today. most of the republicans who are on these panels that are investigating and looking into these allegations related to russian meddling and about collusion between the trump team and the kremlin have said it would be a mistake in the past for trump to try to fire mueller or move him in any way. it should be allowed to see itself out. what they also will tell you or in the past have said they believe that the process of the investigation will eventually exonerate trump. that may have changed depending on what the indictments are and they are seeing what it is that mueller has with that gets to a courtroom. people like trey gowdy are trying to play both sides in a way because he is the chairman of the oversight and government reform committee and a lawyer himself and he does want as you played in that clip, he wants to let mueller do his job unfettered by the politics and
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one of the leading republicans that is launching the probes that look into obama era decisions that are trump's talking points against clinton during the campaign. he is playing it all the way across the board although he is one of several republicans on the investigative committees are saying let's not meddle with the investigation that mueller is doing and let it see itself through. >> the president unleashed a series of tweets blasting the russia talk. does that signal some real unease? yesterday it was succinct flat out no comment. >> i think the president is giving marching orders to his lawmaker allies and minions in the media. he is trying to drive a counter narrative to whatever is about to come out tomorrow. he is laying it out clearly that he doesn't care what it is, but he has a list of things no matter what you want to talk about as long as it's not what
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mueller will unveil. the fusion story and the uranium story from seven years ago and hillary clinton's e-mails. these are the big three. of course the president has been driving media and lawmaker interest in these stories for beak weeks now, but you are about to see that blatantly organized as counter narrative media operation to try to distract and disassemble and muddy the coverage of the mueller investigation. each of these stories has a different level of credibility and interest and not to say they are not real stories, but the president's strategy is pretty obvious here. i don't think it's going to work. when mueller releases that indictment and when that arrest is made, that's going to dominate the discussion no matter what the president tweets. >> if josh is right and these are marching orders or a form of
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vailed intimidation, is he coming close to that line or potentially crossing the line about talking about this investigation and i'm sure his attorneys helped encourage him on the no comment yesterday. >> it's possible that he could do things that approach the notion of obstruction, but sending out tweets and creating a counter knavative is perfectly normal behavior. we saw bill clinton do that. we saw president ronald reagan do that. that's their right. they can try to create a political narrative. it's not going to mick a wit of difference to mueller and the indictment is going to be the indictment. i don't see that behavior as being a brick in the wall of an obstruction investigation. >> according to a new "wall street journal" poll, the president's approval rating hit an all time low of 38%. how big of an impact might this
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investigation have on his approval or disapproval rating? >> we know he is sensitive to his approval. if this is somebody close to trump and those numbers. but congress always has a lower approval rating than the president. that's why trump feels one of the reasons he may feel he is able to whip up pressure on the gop to help him out a little bit. right now the thing is that everybody is being very, very conscious and careful about towing their way up to the line of what is actually coordination and what isn't. you have a very familiar cast of characters here when you are talking about the people like devin nunez who are leading the probes that launched in the last week. there are allegations and the whole unmasking scandal that they were working in ways they shouldn't have. the president is encouraging it
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or cheering it on. if you didn't direct it, that's okay. they are interesting into this territory that is very, very touch and go. it didn't go so well last time they were working together. >> thanks for now. appreciate it. coming up in the newsroom, the governor of puerto rico calling for the cancellation of a $300 million power contract awarded to a small contract in the hometown of the interior secretary, ryan zincy. a computer memory stick filled with highly sensitive information including the queen's route to heathrow airport. how did this drive end up on a sidewalk? details are straight ahead.
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the next 24 hours in the russia investigation could be revealing. the first charges have been filed in special counsel robert mueller's investigation and anyone named could be taken into custody as soon as tomorrow. the charges still sealed under orders from a judge, but that could also change tomorrow. the former tarn for the district of new york who was hired by president trump spoke on state of the union. >> trying to explain for us what we know. i know you don't know insider information, but the first changes have been filed in the mueller investigation. as a former u.s. attorney, which associates might likely find themselves in the most legal jeopardy at this point? >> i know very little. i know what you know and if the reports are true, there have been charges approved by a grand jury and they are sealed. we don't know how many people or
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the extent of the charges or we don't know if it's against the people you mentioned in the preview to this segment. paul manford or michael flynn. it could be charges against somebody or more than one person that we don't know that might lead to charges against one of the people we mentioned. manafort or flynn or someone else. it's hard to speculate against what's in the indictment. >> anyone charged could be taken into custody as early as monday. how is it likely to unfold and how is it done some. >> it can be done in various ways. generally speaking in a white collar matter where there is not concern about the spoilation of evidence and risk of flight, there have been conversations as it might have been. with the target in advance, an arrangement worked out to avoid the circus and cameras showing up from cnn and other outlets and somebody might be permitted at an appointed hour to show up. i don't know if that's the arrangement that was reached,
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but that's my guess. >> sources say that robert mueller has warned paul manafort that they are working to charge him with possible tax crimes and possible financial crimes. this raised the prospect that mr. mueller might offer leniency in exchange for incriminating information about anybody else including president trump. the white house lawyer said ex-aides say they don't have evidence against him. can you shed light on offer iin lenien leniency. >> those are my former office and those that work in bob muller's office try to see who they can bring charges against first and see if they can information about someone else and you want to pursue and pressure people who have
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information of an incriminating nature in the food chain. if that's so, that's how it works. it's also possible that they are charging a number of people at once and want to see who is the first through the door. it's also a possibility that they made an attempt to get cooperation from the person they charged on friday and that attempt failed as sometimes happens in my experience from before. sometimes what it takes to have someone focus on their future and the possibility of getting leniency for themselves is to see that the prosecutors are not bluffing, but are prepared to seek a charge. it seems like that's what happened in this case. >> you tweeted that people should watch not only what the special counsel mueller does, but how president trump responds. what did you mean by that? >> we know from history in recent months that the president of the united states has strong reactions to public events. even events caused by his own actions. after he fired jim comey, he
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went on television with lester holt and said things that people find incriminating and said he fired jim comey with that being on his mind with facts relating to the russia investigation. one, whether or not donald trump has reaction and talks in a way that could be used against him in the future because he would do that and the second thing i would look at is to see if the president is sending a message to the potential defendant or other witnesses. that's in two categories. one is, is he sending a message of intimidation through himself or cohorts suggesting that people should not be talking and should keep their mouth shut that happens from time to time. the second thing is whether or not he sends a message of reassurance. we have from the historical record that donald trump will avoid going through the process for pardoning someone who is an ally. joe arpaio in arizona and
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speculation about whether he would hesitate to use his pardon power to get out of jeopardy allies of him. that's something i would watch closely. >> the washington journal is calling on mueller to resign. "the washington post" said tuesday that the hillary clinton campaign and democratic committee paid for the dossier against drum. sprip out the middle man and they paid for russians to compile wild allegations about a candidate. did someone say collusion? this argument that mueller should resign we are hearing from the president's allies and their obedient vaszles in the media. what's your take? >> what a coincidence that as bob muler is getting his job done and getting closer to filing charges, that political allies of the president are calling for his ez nation. a far cry from what we heard before. governor christie will be on the show in a little bit and i think
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he knows bob mueller really well and he worked with him in new jersey. he never said a bad thing about him until now potentially. newt gingrich on the very day that bob mueller was appointed sent out a very, very positive tweet saying people should be calm. he is a consummate professional and only after he made progress have people like him started to say maybe he should resign. that to me is noise and politics. the fact of the matter is unless an extraordinary action is taken which is another thing to watch for in terms of trying to get muler to go away, he is here to stay for a while. all the speculation about how long it would take to file charges is now coming to an end. he filed them five months into his tenure and now the question of how long it will take to do other things is one question. we know for a fact that it will
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take time with respect to whoever is charged to finish up. while the process is unfolding with hearings and a trial date, those guys in bob mueller's office will work on other things as well. >> coming up in the newsroom, puerto rico's governor is trying to cancel a $300 million contract awarded in a country in the small town of the interior secretary. wa wait until you hear how the ceo explains how he got the contract. that's next. it's ok that everybody ignores me when i drive. it's fine, 'cause i get a safe driving bonus check every six months i'm accident-free. and i don't share it with mom. right, mom? right. safe driving bonus checks, only from allstate. switching to allstate is worth it.
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the governor of hurricane-ravaged puerto rico is calling for the immediate cancellation of the contract to repair the power grid. white fish energy, a small firm with just two full time employees had a $300 billion contract to get the electricity back on. >> in light of the information that has come about with regards to the contracting of white fish energy in the interest of public interest, i have asked the board of the power authority to invoke the cancellation of the contracts immediately. >> for comes two days after fema expressed sig 95 cent concerns about how white fish was awarded the contract.
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still it has been nearly weeks since hurricane maria plowed into puerto rico and 70% has no electricity. martin savage is in san juan. how does it impact the ability to get the lights back on? >> the experts say it's hard for anyone to believe that the action that the governor is taking today that it's going to speed up the process in any way. by immediately bringing an end to the contract with the company that had been so far thea largest supplier of both equipment to do this job. by ending it, you have a big hole here you have to fill. that will be the great task for puerto rico. they have brought them. the trucks over here and the personnel over here. they had begun the job. what's interesting is no one at the power authority from puerto rico nor with the army core of
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engineers has criticized white fish for the job they are doing. in fact it has been pointed out that they seem to be working as hard as anyone else to get the lights back on. all of this conflict has been over the contract and how small that company white fish is to land such a big contract. it doesn't help that white fish is bragging that he found out about the job by using the social media website. >> i found him on linked in. >> you used linked in to get a $300 million contract. >> linked in is going to love this, but yeah. >> that hardly sounds like a professional attitude. it has been pointed out that the governor said he reached out to the governors of new york and florida and they are trying to get power authorities in the states will begin sending personnel and equipment here to
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take over for what white fish was doing. that's going to take time, fredricka. >> there is also the issue of the death toll. the official hurricane death toll stands at 51. fredricka was standing by the numbers in reports that more than 900 bodies have been cremated after the hurricane struck. what do we know about the discrepancies. >> in all the natural disasters i covered, there was also a major debate as who is count said as a victim of the storm and questions about what is the actual number. currently the official number by the government of puerto rico was at 51. there were reports of the cremations and all of those were said to be natural causes and the families a proved of the cremation process. they do not consider them victims of the storm. fredricka? >> martin savage, thank you so
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much. >> andrew cuomo is on the phone and visited the island twice since it was struck by hurricane maria. do you have a clear understanding of why the puerto rican governor is so concerned about white fish energy? >> i think first thank you for having me. i think the governor made a smart move today. there was controversy by the white fish company and the white fish contract and he announced he was going to have an investigation and audit. that is all a side show and 70% of the people don't have power. it's a matter of life and death. i also think the mutual aid system will serve puerto rico better. what we have in this country is
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a mutual aid compact among states. we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of hurricane sandy today in new york. we had about 25 states send utility trucks to new york to help us through hurricane sandy. rather than going to one private company, the governor is saying he wants to exercise mutual aid where he asks other states to send down trucks, crews, pole diggers and setters and line men and they are then reimbursed through the federal government under this mutual aid. i know just from the state of new york i can send down hundreds of utility crews. i think in the long run, that's the faster way to get this done anywhere. that's a smart thing.
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>> the governor said he requested that kind of assistance from new york as well as from florida. what detail and capacity are you able to send reinforcements? you just mentioned you can send hundreds of crews, but won't it take even more than that? >> you know, we will need an estimate from the puerto rico authority as to how many crews they want. it could take one or two thousand crews from what i have seen when i was in puerto rico. hurricane sandy for new york, long island, we had 6,000 crews. we had them literally in a matter of days. you have a complication with puerto rico that you are going
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to have to put the bucket trucks on a barge and transport them. that's the longest period of time. then you have a logistical operation on the island. where do you house 6,000 workers? those are logistical issues that can be worked out. i think for sure this whole white fish situation, first of all, the job was not getting done quickly. second of all now with this investigation, et cetera, it was going to be a distraction. the main point is that we are forgetting. this is like day 36 and they have no power. these are american citizens. >> is it your feeling that there should only be mutual aid and no use of private contractors or do you have to have them working together in concert? >> what happens in mutual aid is
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you use private contractors. for example, in the state of new york, i have public utilities in the state of new york and we have private contractors that we use. both would be sent from this state and through this state's apparatus. they then get billed back through the federal government. look, day 36 with no power, no clean water for many people. it's a matter of life and death. we have to remember these are americans. just imagine if this was any other state in this country. if these were texans or new yorkers or californians. the outrage that media coverage that you would be seeing. puerto ricans are americans. let's treat them that way. >> so the improvements have not
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been fast enough clearly for people living there. you visited twice. did you see any marked improvement between your two visits? >> very little. >> that were at all encouraging to you? >> very little. it all starts with power. if you don't have power, pumps don't operate and people can't operate equipment to clean their home. it's very hard to get the society up and running until you have the power restored. there has been very little progress on the power. i heard the reports that white fish has people working, but you are talking about thousands of crews that you are going to need there. they are nowhere near that capacity. it has been a month. the federal government knows how to do this. we do this literally on a
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monthly basis in this country. when texas had a problem and florida had a problem, new york state sends utility crews and they get assistance and come back. there was no reason for this to take 36 days. it's frankly because they didn't get the attention and think we treat puerto ricans like second class americans. >> we will leave it right there. andrew cuomo, thanks so much. >> thank you very much. >> we'll be right back. i was playing golf days ago... love golf. i used to love golf. wait, what, what happened? i was having a good round, and then my friend, sheila, right as i was stepping into the tee box mentioned a tip a pro gave her. no. yep. did it help? it completely ruined my game. well, the truth is, that advice was never meant for you. i like you. you want to show me your swing? it's too soon. get advice that's right for you. investment management services from td ameritrade.
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a startling find on the streets of london. a computer memory stick with security data was found laying on the ground. the security data on the usb stick included details on the queen's airport routes. i want to bring in cnn technology and business
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correspondent samuel burke from london. this is very alarming. how big of a breech is this? >> fredricka, it's stunning to think that one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world has some of the most confidential and secretive information found on a usb stick 13 miles from heathrow airport in a random london neighborhood. no password on the usb stick and no encryption. they have launched an internal investigation to try to figure out how this happened. they analyzed the information and believe that heathrow airport is secure. you mentioned the queen. she doesn't use the same gate that the rest of us use. she uses the royal suite. some of the most intimate details were revealed including a lot of other information. what type of details were seen on this usb drive. the routes from foreign dignitaries. imagine presidents and visiting
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here in the uk and the special routes they take revealed maps of the security camera position wouldn't want anyone with nepharious ideas knowing how to avoid the cameras and the locations of secret tunnels is networking below heathrow airport. speaking to experts, they said not only will the intelligence books be trying to figure out who might be behind this, but they want to know if the information ended up anywhere else beside this usb drive maybe on the dark web where terrorists ngd get it and we need no reminder about the facts that airports remain high value targets for terrorists. >> alarming and frightening. thank you very much from london. appreciate it. coming up in the newsroom, the northeast bracing for a monster tropical storm exactly years since super storm sandy struck the region. where the new storm is expected to hit, straight ahead.
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welcome back in the cnn original series this is life. lisa ling shows us communities we may not usually see. in her latest episode, she is focusing on what it means to be muslim in america. she takes us to a self defense class for muslim women. >> this doesn't make me, my heart makes me. i want people to know muslims are not here to hurt people. they love people. >> in a hostile world, muslims,
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especially women had to learn how to protect themselves. hanifa is taking steps to do just that. >> show me. eyes, eyes, nose nose. knees knees. >> at the mosque where she attends friday prayers, she is taking her first self defense class. >> the first weapon we have, let them know i see you. what are you doing? stop! i'm telling you to stop. that's what i want to make sure i'm doing. >> stop! >> that makes me shake a little bit. all right. >> for hanifa, this is the first time she has ever physically had to defend herself. >> eyes eyes nose nose knees knees. >> give her a hand! that's what you are supposed to do. it's like she is fighting for her life. sometimes you are fighting for your life. >> what did you think? you had that death face. that mean face. i was scared.
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>> lisa ling joining us now from los angeles. why do the women feel compelled to learn self defense? >> we all know that attacks on muslim people have risen sharply in recent years. the muslim women choose to wear the hijabs are particular targets. to try to combat that, these muslim women in tennessee decided to empower themselves by taking a self defense course. this episode is important to me because i think that there is a perception that islam is associated with violence. that it's a new phenomenon. islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but many don't realize that islam has
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been in this country since the founding of our nation. many slaves who are brought here in the 1700s were muslim and so many of them were forced to convert to christianity. it's not so much that it is have having a resurgence, but a period where close to a million muslims converted or became mainstream muslim and these were members of the nation of islam. this episode explores the roots of islam in america. it's predominantly been in the african-american community. >> lisa ling , we will all be watching this is life air tonight at 10:00 eastern time here on cnn. we have so much more straight ahead in the newsroom after this. i'm val. the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. i represent the money you save for the future.
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the last time anthony bourdain was in sri lanka, there was a civil war going on. he returns to see how the culture and food have changed. >> it has been eight or nine years that i have been to this beautiful country filled with lovely people and incredible food. sri lanka.
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last time we were here, we couldn't see too much of the place. we were here in the middle of the most vicious conflicts you could imagine. the war is over. what is sri lanka like now. >> tune in to "parts unknown" tonight at 9:00 eastern time. so much more straight ahead. thank you very much for being with us. we begin this hour in washington where grand jury dimes are overshadowing the week ahead for president trump. an arrest or plural arrests could come as early as tomorrow following the first charges in the investigation led

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